Last week, we were at the Web Summit in Dublin. The Web Summit is presented as THE international tech event of the year bringing together the most successful start-ups (Instagram, Facebook, Stripe...), the promising ones and the crème of show-biz (Bono, actors from Games of Thrones...).
That was just enough to stir our curiosity: we decided to get out of our cave, present PandaSuite to the tech world and of course, enjoy a good time together! 😉 In June, Josh from the Web Summit called us, he was "super excited" to tell us we were selected.
Like the other participants, we received the 50 emails from the Web Summit ahead of the event. We carefully got informed on how to prepare our venue at best.
We were described this event as:
- a true marathon (take 30-minute naps in the afternoon),
- a flood of people in the streets (struggle for life),
- full of mud (a real American disaster movie),
- a networking summit even in the toilets (uh… we didn't try!)!
A little scared but well informed, we hit the road with our tablets, battery chargers and 500 business cards. And we've lived a quite different experience!
Here is the true story of our venue at the Web Summit for you, dear users, but also for every start-up that will have the same questions as we had. We won't talk about our foggy journey to the Beauvais airport and the humidity issue in our AirBnb flat. Here is what you must remember.
Truly great meetings
Web Summit provides us with great opportunities. In one place, you find all the different actors from the same ecosystem. Start-ups, finance people, journalists... we were lucky to meet a lot of people and had exciting discussions about PandaSuite and many other subjects.
On the stand or during night parties, there's a natural way to meet other people! No need to find sophisticated ways to get in touch with new people (it's even the opposite!). With our "Adopt a Panda" t-shirts, we've received friendly messages all along the event and even donation promises... before we gave more explanations about the PandaSuite concept ("No, we're not a charity!") 😉
Our stand and the venue
What you need to know is that during the Web Summit, start-ups can only exhibit one day! We were lucky as we had a stand for the second day of the show (Wednesday) which was the most crowdy day, according to our own (very) personal perception. We were also located in the Beta section (for most advanced start-ups), near the main conference area and many participants stopped at our stand, attracted by our friendly Panda.
All the feedbacks were very positive and new projects are under discussion. From a more personal point of view, we were really happy to meet the teams of the services we are using everyday. A special message to the Intercom team with whom we enjoyed a party (hi Adam, if you're reading this article!) and for Branch Metrics who totally relooked us (yes, great goodies!) 🙂
Like other start-ups, there was no way to attend a conference! Nothing to worry about since they are all available online.
The real Summit and Dublin
What we really preferred is the Night Summit! The Web Summit does not stop at the door of the venue. Every evening, meetings are between participants in a specific area of Dublin. Beer, music, great people and a very good organization ... everything came together to spend nice evenings.
We must say that Dublin is the perfect city for good times. You do not believe us, but we enjoyed a sunny week! Pub crawls, greyhound racing, seafood tasting at the seafront, Dubliners overexcited ... we have punctuated this week by a beautiful weekend there!
Thus, it was easy fo us to achieve our objectives: meet new partners and present PandaSuite to the greatest number. We left Ireland with the bags filled with valuable business cards and many projects in the head. On site, the event is well organized: it remains nice and friendly despite the influx of participants and nesting in the streets of Dublin gives it an air of cheerful village. Certainly, there is no wifi! But this information is well relayed and it's simple to organize on site. To see what it will give in Lisbon next year ... 😉
Finally, we must ask ourselves the right questions before going to the Web Summit. There is no magic and experience may even be counter-productive if we go there for the wrong reasons. In our case, it was successful! 🙂